"Maybe she missed the London World Tour Finals. Maybe she was somewhere else climbing Kilimanjaro."
That would be none other than Roger Federer cracking funnies (sorta) and responding to the comments made by Martina Navrativlova recently about his chances of regaining the top spot in the world rankings.
While speaking to the media at the launch of the Liverpool International Tennis tourney, the 18-time Grand Slammer made her thoughts known on the state of the Swiss' game and whether he could regain the top spot ever again:
"Roger is on the other side of the float, I don't think he'll ever play as well as he did three or four years ago - that's not to say he can't still win a slam, but it's difficult to see him climbing back to number one.Maybe Andy Roddick was talking to you, Martina. But seriously, if anyone understands what it is like to be where Fed is right now it would be a legend, a former No. 1 with 18 Grand Slams under her belt. I think she has a pretty good idea of how a champion tennis career begins, evolves to the glorious middle and ends in high praise and a Hall of Fame refrigerator magnet (or something else meaningful.)
"Nadal is dominating and Djokovic's confidence is off the chart. Roger has lost three matches (this season) to Djokovic and lost to him at US Open last year as well, it will get under his skin."
She also has a pretty good idea of how difficult it is to get back to the top once you've been knocked down a few pegs by some hungry (and sexy, if I may say so - and I did) younglings with more stamina and strength than you can or care to muster up anymore. AND. She knows how difficult it is to not only to admit this obvious truth in public (perish that thought) but also to the champion's own mind: age is not your friend in tennis. It's the natural order, and at some point the end begins.
But, understandably, if said champ is currently playing at an elite level and challenging for tourney titles and majors then why would he want to admit any of this to anyone especially himself? I doubt Martina did.
[Photo(s): Getty Images]